Philosophy

Matthew Simpson (department head)

Philosophy means the love of wisdom. More specifically, philosophy is the systematic, rational inquiry into the most profound questions about nature and human life. The philosophy program is designed to help students think about these issues in a thorough and rigorous way, by acquainting them with historical and contemporary work in philosophy and by developing their skills in critical analysis and expository writing. The program offers a number of gateway courses that are open to all students, as well as more advanced and intensive courses for students interested in deepening their knowledge of philosophy and building their skills in analysis and writing. The major and minor in philosophy offer a sequence of historical and topical courses that allow students to engage deeply with an array of philosophical problems and approaches. Because of the breadth and depth of these offerings, as well as the analytical rigor that they require, a major or minor in philosophy is excellent preparation for all kinds of graduate study and public service. Many of our majors go on to graduate school in philosophy, theology, and law.

Required for a major: A minimum of nine courses (not including the senior project) in philosophy, including PHIL 110, 120 or PHIL 320, 200, 220, 485, and at least two additional courses numbered 300 or above. Writing requirement completed with PHIL 485.

Required for a minor: A minimum of five courses in philosophy, including PHIL 200, 220, 485, and at least one additional course numbered 200 or above.

Honors 210, 220, 310 and 320 may be used in place of philosophy courses to satisfy prerequisites for advanced philosophy offerings. In addition, consent of instructor to enroll can be obtained with advisor's assistance by students lacking formal prerequisites, given appropriate academic experience and interest.